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Cloud services, UC and VoIP - what are the benefits?

Thu 19 Mar 2015
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Like many small businesses, TeleConsultants has embraced the Cloud. When it was time to replace our Small Business Server it made sense to move to Office 365, Cloud based CRM and Cloud backup to minimise our onsite infrastructure.

We combined this with upgrading our internet connection to Ultra-Fast Broadband. All this is now working fine without the need for any replacement server onsite. So what about our PABX?   We have an aging PABX that sits there, as it has for years, providing solid voice services, but we know we need to plan for its replacement and we know this is likely be a Cloud VoIP solution (VoIP solution delivered as a Cloud service).

We therefore started looking at what is available and found everyone seems to have a Cloud offering. They are all the best solution and they will all save us money! How does anyone decide? Have all the early issues with VoIP gone away? If voice over the internet is cheap or even free is it any good?

The reality is that there is now trust in Cloud and VoIP, which are both providing quality services at very cost effective prices.

The traditional PABX is a ‘black box’ solution attached to dedicated office phones, cabling and telco lines.  Moving to Cloud VoIP, often including Unified Communications, integrates voice at a network, server and user interface application level. This requires sharing infrastructure or integration that can create issues if not done correctly. There are considerable benefits moving to a Cloud VoIP solution and we recommend focussing on what is best for your business, not the technology.   The benefits come from the three main areas of: Cloud service, UC and VoIP. Like most infrastructure changes we recommend looking at the benefits that best suit your business. It is an opportunity to get the latest technologies that can drive business initiatives.   Benefits of a Cloud Service

  • Reduce or remove infrastructure from your offices, i.e. PABX, servers, UPS etc
  • Remove the complexity of managing these services
  • Move to OPEX rather than CAPEX
  • Can be accessed from multiple locations with improved reliability
  • Flexible in both functionality and scalability 

Benefits of Unified Communications 

  • Streamline communications, voice, email, mobility and messaging
  • Additional functionality - instant messaging (IM), presence, desktop collaboration and video
  • Multiple devices, anytime, anywhere to fit the way you work
  • Improve collaboration and efficiency 

Benefits of VoIP

  • Single infrastructure for voice and data
  • Leverage highly competitive market rates to reduce costs
  • Leverage increasing internet services capacity and roll out of UFB
  • Improve flexibility - any device, anytime, anywhere to fit the way you work 

The ability to capitalise on these benefits is important as they vary from business to business. As with any technology replacement you get far more functionality today than when you bought your PABX. A Cloud VoIP solution should not be all about doing the same things cheaper.   As highlighted everyone seems to have a Cloud offering, they all have the best solution and they will all save us money! Be sure you choose a solution that is best for your business and adds value not just saves you money.  

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